February 2005                                    Editor: Patricia Brodsky                                   Vol. 5, No. 3


UMKC Faculty Shines: Votes of No ConfidenceTopple Gilliland Administration , by David Brodsky

President Floyd's "State of the University" Address and its Message to Faculty,
by Patricia Brodsky

Urgently Needed: A Dialogue with the Public , by Patricia Brodsky

Failure of Accountability

UMKC needs new leaders,  by Alfred Esser

A Context for the Votes of No Confidence

Represent UMKC Honestly, by Patricia Brodsky

Roots of Tenure

Tenure protects Education, by Steve Driever and Jim Durig

Faculty Responds to AAUP Call for Ideas, Priorities, by Patricia Brodsky

Issues: Response from Sociology/Criminal Justice & Criminology

Where Do we Go from Here? by Dan Hopkins

The Structural Basis of Missouri's Higher Education Crisis, by John B. Harms

Double-Digit Tuition Increases in Public Higher Ed Again This Year

Upcoming AAUP Events

Copyright Notice

Dues Information

Back Issues

UMKC Faculty Shines: Votes of No Confidence Topple Gilliland Administration

by David Brodsky

        The University of Missouri Kansas City is currently in a state of transition.  This article recounts and summarizes the momentous events which opened up space for the university community.

        Well before the votes were taken, fall semester 2004 saw escalating assaults by the Gilliland administration, answered by increasingly effective resistance by the faculty.

        The first assault was a proposal to restructure the university into two large divisions: Life and Health Sciences (schools of Biological Sciences, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy), and Academic Affairs (everything else).  In a large turnout at an all faculty Senate meeting, faculty voted unanimously to request justifications from the Chancellor.  If they were not forthcoming or convincing, the faculty would reject the plan.

        The restructuring proposal was a predictable consequence of the EST-driven "Blueprint for the Future".  Cosmetically retouched as "The Vision" after its abuses were publicly exposed and psywar was replaced by bureaucratic fiat, the Blueprint divided the institution into privileged and unprivileged disciplines.  Privileged disciplines were the health sciences and a few others (e.g. Visual and Performing Arts), while unprivileged ones were everything else.  However, the reward for some privileged areas (e.g. Visual and Performing Arts) was a downsized faculty burdened with a heavier workload and fewer resources.

        A second assault in Fall 2004 came with the announcement of new promotion and tenure policies, developed without faculty consultation or approval.  Among other things, they violated the confidentiality of departmental deliberations on personnel matters while centralizing control of the process in an unaccountable campus committee.

        A third assault surfaced in late September, when the administration instituted a new unannounced computer logon policy.  With the intent to spy on users and report usage to domestic and foreign police agencies, justified by the "university's" (i.e. administration's) ownership of the equipment, the new policy combined severe threats to academic freedom and constitutional rights as well as faculty intellectual property.  Faculty objections, raised first and foremost by AAUP member Gary Ebersole and constitutionally grounded in a presentation to the Senate by retired Law School Dean Bob Popper, succeeded in having the message removed within four days.  The Gilliland administration's rapid retreat exposed its vulnerability to effective action.

        Faculty activism produced other accomplishments.  The Senate voted overwhelmingly to invalidate an election, due to insecure and faulty electronic ballots.  Electronic balloting was introduced by the Chair of the Senate without notification or consultation with the Senate or the faculty at large.  In the rerun with paper ballots, involving a field of five candidates for the position, the top two candidates, both AAUP members, received 61% of the vote, and the three AAUP members in the contest garnered nearly 75%.

        Meanwhile, faculty investigations disclosed fiscal information withheld by the administration.  In 2002-2005 the budget of the upper administration increased by 50%, while academic budgets rose 41% in the same period.  The proposed budget for the Office of Communications was up 65% over last year, while the libraries received a total of a 3% increase in 4 years.  The Faculty Advocate also published a special report on failed grievance procedures at three of the UM system campuses, including UMKC.

        On October 22, a week after the Faculty Advocate was distributed, the administration released a so-called "White Paper on Reorganization."  Regarded by many as the administration's reply to the faculty's request for justification of the earlier restructuring plan, the incoherent and wildly speculative document, filled with multiple contradictory scenarios, proposed dismembering unprivileged disciplines (all but Health Sciences) and recombining their lopped off body parts into absurd and unviable configurations.

        One proposal, for example, was to merge the schools of Business, Law, Education, and Computer Sciences/Engineering into a single giant monstrosity.  Once merged, individual disciplines could be downsized at will, subject to the all purpose criteria of "efficiency," "cost effectiveness," and "reduced revenue for education." 

        An even more destructive set of proposals suggested removing "profitable" departments or parts of departments from the College of Arts and Sciences for inclusion in more privileged units, and then reducing the remainder (the majority) to a "service mission" centered "around humanities and social sciences." In other words, those disciplines rich in critical thinking, culture, and public service, and therefore poor in profit-making potential and critical of such trends, were to be consigned to an afterthought, a kind of holding pen or General Gouvernement for the social Darwinist "unfit."  In plain language the proposals called for eliminating the College and most of its graduate and major programs, which would necessitate driving out professionally trained faculty, including tenured ones.

        Each new unit would have entailed new administrative positions, to be filled by operatives loyal to the Chancellor and her agenda.  Faculty would have been deprived of the power to govern themselves in their own coherent disciplines.  A major goal of dismembering and amalgamating disciplines with little or nothing in common was to encourage confusion, disorientation, dissension, and competition within new units for scarce resources.  Equally important, combining and downsizing unprivileged units would generate cash flow for privileged projects.

        Since outside support was shrinking, the Gilliland administration resorted to internal financing, i.e. stealing from unprivileged units to support the privileged ones.  Theft of this sort has a long history at UMKC.  For example, health sciences at the university were originally funded by vampirizing resources from other units, notably the cash cow of the College of Arts and Sciences. 

        Given drastic reductions in public funding, the Gilliland administration turned to private donors to realize its ambitious projects.  But instead of soliciting unrestricted gifts, it attempted to sell off the university piecemeal to various buyers: the School of Biological Sciences to the Stowers Institute, the School of Education to the Kauffman Foundation, the Law School to Zimmer real estate developers, the orthodontics program in the Dental School to a private education company, Orthodontic Education Ltd., etc.  In addition, it raided the university budget to the tune of three million dollars to pay for outside consultants and PR campaigns hostile to academic culture, as well as over five million for health sciences construction.  Other confiscations of teaching and research funds may surface after President Floyd finishes his audit of UMKC finances.

        Neither broad sections of faculty, students, and alumni, nor the citizens at large of the Kansas City region were consulted about the "missions" which the university was to serve and which appeared to justify draconian restructuring measures.  By contrast, generally accepted and justifiable missions of the university continue to include grounding in critical thinking, both verbal and mathematical-symbolic, free and open inquiry, knowledge of history, cultures, arts, humanities, the social and natural sciences, including the history of science, public sharing of knowledge, and the practice of democracy and citizenship.

The faculty takes action

        In retrospect the White Paper turned out to be the last straw in the administration's four-year war on the integrity of the university.  It dissipated lingering illusions about the Vision's benevolent intentions.  Unwittingly overplaying its hand, the administration paid scant attention to the faculty's spontaneous rapid response.

        On November 9, after discussing the White Paper, the College of Arts and Sciences voted unanimously to hold a vote of no confidence at an emergency meeting scheduled for November 18.  On November 12 an unusually large meeting of the AAUP chapter unanimously passed a resolution supporting the College and urging other units to take up the issue.  Units represented at the AAUP meeting were Arts and Sciences, SBS, Education, Law, Dentistry, and Nursing.

        The AAUP resolution read as follows:
"Whereas Chancellor Gilliland and her administration have consistently pursued a policy of aggression against the faculty of UMKC, circumventing legitimate faculty governance bodies and targeting one academic unit after another;

And whereas the faculty of these units have individually and separately resisted administration assaults on the integrity of the institution;

And whereas the Gilliland administration continues its policy of attempting to fracture and dismember the university;

And whereas the Gilliland administration has created a culture of distrust and intimidation which has led to a loss of academic freedom;

Therefore the members of the UMKC Chapter of the American Association of University Professors present at the November 12, 2004 meeting support the resolution of the College of Arts and Sciences to declare no confidence in Chancellor Gilliland and her administration, and to urge other Schools and units on the UMKC campus to follow suit."
        On November 15 the School of Biological Sciences reaffirmed its vote taken two years ago: 33 voted no confidence, with one opposed.  On November 18 three more units returned no confidence votes: the College of Arts and Sciences (97 for, 29 against, 5 abstentions), the Law School (18 for, 0 against, 2 abstentions), and the Business School (18 for, 3 against, 2 abstentions).  On the same day the most courageous (because most unprotected) teachers, the Part-time Faculty, voted 38 for, 0 against.  On November 23 the School of Education tallied 15 for, 5 against, and 2 abstentions.  Out of 230 votes by regular tenure track faculty in these five units, 78.7% voted no confidence (including the part-time faculty 81.7% of 268 votes).

        On November 23 President Floyd visited campus and held meetings with all interested constituencies.  About 400 attended the campus-wide faculty convocation with the President, at which the overwhelming consensus was to end the Gilliland administration.  Similar results were reported in his meetings with staff, students, and deans.

        There followed ten days of intense speculation, including the expectation of reprisals by the upper administration and its agents.  The announcement of Gilliland's resignation on December 3 caught almost everyone by surprise. 

        Holiday celebrations and expressions of relief by the university community were tempered by uncertainties as to the future.  A coordinated media campaign representing local business interests attacked the faculty and President Floyd.  It exposed the agenda of those corporate powers planning to remake UMKC in their own image in order to divide up the spoils. 

        Such relentless pressure raised the possibility that similar (or even worse) policies would continue under new management and window-dressing.  However, as of this writing, a cautiously optimistic prognosis is in order.  President Floyd has disbanded Blueprint committees and other governance structures usurping faculty responsibilities. 

        The future of the university now depends quite literally on the strong involvement of large numbers of faculty in choosing new leadership, setting new priorities, and promoting the legitimate aims of a public university.  To this end I strongly urge dedicated regular faculty to do serious outreach to their uninvolved colleagues in all units.

        In addition, regular faculty, if only for common sense reasons of survival and a demonstration of good will, should extend their outreach to part-time and non-tenure-track faculty; to students, staff, and alumni; to individuals who support the ideals of academic culture and public education--among lower administrators, members of the UMKC Board of Trustees, UM Curators, the labor movement, and the non-predatory sector of the business community; and to the entire community of two million residents of the Kansas City region. 

        Faculty governance requires the commitment and dedication of many faculty members, not just a few overworked activists currently serving on the Faculty Senate or on other governance bodies.  Service is not a distraction or a waste of time, time "stolen" from teaching and research.  If the faculty as a whole (e.g. serving in rotation) does not devote itself to active governance and instead returns to business as usual--trusting that governance will take care of itself, run by "experts" with the university's best interests at heart--then it will reap the kind of business as usual practiced by the Gilliland administration, as well as by all previous maladministrations of UMKC.

        The involvement and commitment shown by the faculty at large in its shining hour, when it organized and participated in votes of no confidence and gave public testimony to President Floyd, must not be extinguished in traditional apathy.  The spark ignited when faculty successfully fought for themselves and for the good of the institution and the community should be nourished until it becomes a self-sustaining beacon.

President Floyd's "State of the University" Address and its Message to Faculty

by Patricia Brodsky

        On January 12 System President Elson Floyd presented what may have been the first-ever "State of the University" address to several hundred faculty, staff, students, and community visitors in Spencer Theater on the UMKC campus.  Interest was high, as this was Floyd's first public address since he accepted the resignation of Chancellor Gilliland in early December.  The President was clearly at pains to reach out both to the faculty and other members of the university, and to outsiders interested in the direction the university will be taking.  It was a major and much-needed effort at bridge-building.

        The relatively brief address, followed by a question and answer period,  conveyed a number of important points and went far to establishing a framework for the months ahead.  There were several main motifs, addressed to the various constituencies.  Each was carefully contextualized, in order to give the listeners a realistic picture of our situation.

        1. Floyd stated clearly that he is not contemplating any restructuring of academic units, thus repudiating once and for all the infamous White Paper.

        2. He repeatedly praised the faculty, calling them "world class" and stating that their work complements the university's work in the community.  He also stated his unequivocal support for tenure, and said that this is a faculty-driven process which must not be compromised.  In this context, he also remarked that student credit hours should be treated as a unit total, with some faculty doing mostly teaching and others mostly research.  This too should be a faculty decision.

        3. UMKC will continue to place high priority on cooperation with the community, broadly defined.  As part of that effort, projects such as the Urban Institute and the Life Science Initiative will go forward.  But Floyd emphasized that they may be smaller and have a slightly different shape than originally envisioned, including for example the new central role of School of Education faculty in the planning and execution of the Institute.

        4. As an important caveat, Floyd emphasized that the university cannot be all things to all people, and that we must have the courage, first to analyze, and then to articulate, "what we can and cannot do."  Implicit in these remarks was a commitment both to excellence in what we do take on, and to our right to set our own course in determining what partnerships we will enter into.

        5. It is time for major changes in communication on campus and the way in which decisions are arrived at.  There will be a series of town meetings, and Floyd stressed that he would work closely with the Senate through its Executive Committee, with the Staff Assembly, and with the student government.  He asked people to be proactive in informing him of issues that needed addressing.  He also announced that Blueprint/Vision entities and projects that grew out of Chancellor Gilliland's practice of forming non-elected, ad hoc governing committees, would be suspended until further notice.  He specifically mentioned the Extended Cabinet and the Chancellor's Fund for Innovation.

        6. University commitments to campus construction projects such as the library expansion, the Health Sciences building, and the U-Center renovation will be honored, but in scaled-down versions because of the budget overruns and shortfalls in funding.  For example, the U-Center plans will no longer include an alumni center.  Floyd emphasized the centrality of a good library, calling it the "foundation of a great university" and a "reservoir of information."  Other crucial projects include a new courtroom, which is a necessity for the accreditation of the Law School.

        7. Dean searches would go ahead, and he expected to have a list of Law candidates within the week.  [Law Professor Ellen Suni was subsequently named Dean of the School of Law.]

        8. Underlying the entire discussion was the message that UMKC is in a fiscal crisis that far exceeds the expectations the President and his team had when they began to investigate the situation.  Getting a handle on the budget is Floyd's top priority. He emphasized that Wednesday's remarks were only an interim report, and that he would keep the faculty apprised as more data emerged. Problematical commitments thus far include a possible overrun of $7.4 million for the U-Center construction.  Twin Oaks has a $7 million/year "mortgage" and serious health and safety issues that made it likely that the University would raze the building rather make the enormous investment needed to bring it up to code.  [It was announced later in January that Twin Oaks is definitely scheduled for demolition, and will be closed by June 1, 2006. The cost of demolition is not yet known, but renovation costs have been estimated as high as $80 million.

        Floyd is also looking into the issue of the $8 million that were taken out of the University budget to cover the shortfall in the health sciences building project.  This action had a disproportionate effect on some parts of the University and is being "reexamined."  [In early February Floyd informed the deans that the 5% taken from all units to cover the shortfall would be returned to them, since it was not needed for other purposes at this time.]

        He doubted that the $200 million capital campaign launched in December 2004 had been damaged by the departure of Chancellor Gilliland.  There has simply been a change of leadership, not one of commitment.  As evidence he cited recent additional pledges of $1.5 million, bringing the total so far up to $133 million.

        9. Remarking that we cannot continue to rely so heavily on tuition and student fees to take up the slack, Floyd has committed himself to keeping increases to a maximum of 3.5% next year.  "Shame on us for for pricing students out of an education," he concluded.

        10. In response to questions, it was noted that a mentoring program for students (called "coaching" at UMKC) will soon be implemented.  Floyd also says he supports the idea of differential tuition, differing from one campus to another.

        In sum, while we have inherited a major budget crisis and a set of faulty administrative practices, and while confidence on the part of some segments of the community has been shaken, President Floyd is optimistic about our future, based on his faith in the quality of the faculty and the institution.  His suggestions to us are to look at our own academic programs and analyze what we do best; be proactive in bringing issues to his attention and making suggestions for change; and join him in sending a strong message to the community about who we are and our interest in working with it, and to the legislature about the importance of higher education.

Urgently Needed: A Dialogue with the Public

by Patricia Brodsky

        Since the days in November when seven faculty groups voted "no confidence" in the administration of Chancellor Martha Gilliland, the University has become the focus of numerous articles, columns and letters to the editor in the local press, as well as in the broadcast media.  Some reports, though not the majority, made an attempt to be balanced.  Some comments published in the KC Star and the Business Journal ranged from ignorant to smug to hostile towards the faculty and the University.  Most of us have also engaged in conversations with people outside the university, encountering in some cases strong support, in others, appalling stereotypes, mistrust, and misconceptions.  It has become clear that one of the most pressing issues facing us as an activist faculty in a transitional period is to communicate clearly who we are and what we stand for.  President Floyd made the same point in his "State of the University" address on January 12.  Our audience includes the press and the general public, but also the Governor, the Legislature, and the Curators.  We need to explain and defend our work, the structure and culture of the University, what we need to do our job, and how we understand our responsibilities to ourselves and to the community.

        For a long time others have defined what is meant by "community."  Under Chancellor Gilliland "community" tended to a narrow interpretation: business, development, investment, corporate partnerships, and philanthropy.  While these are certainly important, and while private donations may be crucial to us in achieving our goals, this nearly exclusive focus meant that less powerful voices were rarely heard and other relationships rarely taken into account in planning.  Even nods to constituencies such as the public schools were carried out in such a way as to exclude UMKC faculty from meaningful participation, and thus from a constructive, cooperative relationship with that constituency (e.g. the original plans for the Urban Institute).

        As faculty we must defend ourselves against hostile stereotypes and corporate pressure and reach out to the larger community: schools and teachers, neighborhood associations, youth groups, grassroots arts and social activist groups, potential students and their families--the citizens whom we should be serving and the voters whose understanding and good will we need.  We must redefine "community" to include them, and then engage them in a conversation about how we can achieve not Gilliland's PR-driven "gold star" but a healthy, practical working relationship that benefits us all.  Numerous faculty and departments are already involved in such projects, tutoring children, providing free dental care, working with labor groups to educate young people about their rights in the workplace.  We're proud of these projects, and should be telling people about them.

        A number of faculty have begun the campaign to provide accurate information about ourselves and our motives.  On December 7, four days after the chancellor tendered her resignation, KCUR provided one such opportunity by inviting four faculty members to appear on "Up to Date" with host Steve Kraske.  Geosciences Professor Ray Coveney, Arts and Sciences Chair Jim Durig, Law Professor Ed Hood, and AAUP President Pat Brodsky spent an hour analyzing recent events and discussing how faculty viewed the coming months.  Despite the fact that Kraske persisted in referring to our dramatic example of democracy in action and its outcome as a "trainwreck," the program did provide faculty with a venue for talking with one another and for reaching a much broader audience for the first time.  The calm, informed and civil discussion among representatives of differing positions provided, hopefully, a solid first step in demonstrating to the public the serious and constructive intentions of the faculty.

        Another opportunity to tell our story, and in some cases to defend ourselves, is provided by the KC Star , in its "As I See It" column and letters to the editor.  In fact, this is essentially the only way of responding to erroneous or biased statements published in the Star, and of counteracting continuing misconceptions fed by the media in general.

        The AAUP wants to thank those faculty and supporters who have attempted to clarify the record and begin a dialogue.  It's going to be an uphill battle, since the media tend to portray university issues from a squarely business point of view, and many readers are ignorant of how a university works and why it is unique.  We urge you all to join the dialogue, by calling talk shows, writing op-ed pieces, and perhaps most importantly, engaging your colleagues and neighbors in a conversation about the university, and about our natural alliance with the community.

Failure of Accountability

        What follows are three recent "As I See It" columns that challenge academic stereotypes and invite a response.

        On December 3 the Star published an "As I See It" column by Alfred Esser, School of Biological Sciences, in which he pointed out some of the Chancellor's financial deals that led to the votes of no confidence.  According to President Floyd in his January 12 address, the fiscal mess left behind by the Gilliland administration constitutes the single most serious problem facing the University.  This kind of information ought to make Gilliland supporters in the business community think twice about her "business" practices.

UMKC needs new leaders

by Alfred Esser

        Both the chapter of the AAUP and an overwhelming faculty majority informed University of Missouri President Elson Floyd recently that his only choice to resolve the current turmoil was to replace the administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, since the administration had lost the faculty's trust.

        Nothing could be done to patch this up.  The main reasons included Chancellor Martha Gilliland's intolerance and punishment of  dissenting faculty opinions and her squandering of public financial resources.

        The Star reported that Gilliland was short $8 million to start the building process for a new Health Sciences Building.  To make up the difference she decided to transfer funds from academic programs into a plant fund in what was called a "team effort."

        In reality, the team had only two players, chancellor and provost, who made the top-down decision that academic units need not keep a 5 percent reserve mandated by the curators for unforeseen events but should "lend" it to them instead.  With one stroke the academic units lost $5.67 million.

        Yet Gilliland invited the faculty to celebrate because UMKC had privately raised $132 million since her arrival on campus.  In spite of this, UMKC apparently cannot keep the building project going.

        Whom is she trying to fool?  The citizens who gave so generously to support "Kansas City's University" but weren't told the truth?  The faculty at UMKC, who face another year without adequate support for their teaching and scholarly activities?  Or the civic development councils who put all their efforts into creating "Life Science" endeavors and now find out that all those "proclamations" were just that?  Do they know that many life scientists left because of Gilliland's repressive policies, taking along $4 million in federal funding?

        The Star reported in 2001 that Gilliland's "desire for university-wide transformation didn't arise from her early impressions of UMKC's strengths and weaknesses."  The victim, UMKC, paid about $3 million for this desire, mostly for lavish PR campaigns and for consultants, such as David Westbrook and Steve M. Cohen, who defended Gilliland's agenda.  They each were paid more than $140,000--Westbrook to inform the public about UMKC and Cohen to be "executive director of diversity in action" and to "deal with violators and people who 'don't get it'," as he wrote in the student newspaper.

        The AAUP-UMKC chapter trusts Floyd to appoint an interim leadership team that is sensitive to shared faculty governance issues and is cognizant of local structures.  He should also ask for an immediate audit of UMKC's budgets to clear the air of mistrust and to provide a clean start for the next administration.

A Context for the Votes of No Confidence

        In January Star columnist Lewis Diuguid wrote a generally perceptive piece entitled "New chancellor will inherit many competing interests."  He was correct in predicting that a new chancellor will face a difficult challenge because of competing and in some cases incompatible constituencies.  But while he "got it right" on many issues, his repeated use of the terms "customer" made it clear that he had bought into the idea of the university as a business purveying a product, which is to be had for money.  In response to Diuguid's column, I submitted a piece to the Star, which appeared in slightly edited form on January 21, 2005.

Represent UMKC Honestly

by Patricia Brodsky

        While I was very glad to see Lewis Diuguid turn his attention to developments at UMKC, some of his statements miss the point.  First, Elson Floyd's decision to take over the temporary leadership of UMKC is the best thing that could have happened.  He is remarkably responsive, responsible, and thoughtful.  He has shown a lot of courage in putting education and democratic practice before the the sometimes misguided and proprietary priorities of the business community.  He does not intend to "become acting chancellor;" his intention is to get a hands-on feel for what is needed on campus before an acting chancellor is chosen.

        A basic cause for the faculty votes of no confidence was Gilliland's practice of setting up ad-hoc bodies--Blueprint committees, "cabinets," etc.--to circumvent elected faculty governing bodies and to make policy over our heads and behind our backs.  (This reflected her consistently hostile attitude toward dissent.  No one should forget her infamous article that defined faculty who disagreed with her as "terrorists" who "need to be removed".)  A public university is not a business; we do not sell a product.  Our raison d'etre is to educate, and academic freedom and faculty governance are the cornerstones of this process.

        There is also the matter of salaries.  UMKC is far below the national average for comparable institutions.  Our part-timers make in the bottom 5%.  In the four years since Gilliland was in charge, faculty at UMKC have received $400, 0, 0, and 2% raises, at a time when the number of administrators on campus burgeoned, and their salaries went through the roof.  We are also gravely understaffed: some units have lost 30% or more of their faculty, in many cases people fleeing the Gilliland regime.

        A basic disagreement existed between the faculty and the chancellor on who constituted "the community."  For her, this meant the business community.  Our conception is very different, less glamorous, certainly not as profitable.  We are interested in educating the people of Missouri, and in improving their lives in any way we can, not in making deals to outsource and sell off programs to the highest bidder.

        A chancellor's job is to represent UMKC honestly and positively to the whole community, not to create an unreal PR vision that he/she thinks will sell, while ignoring, denigrating or harrassing the people who do the actual work: the faculty.

Roots of Tenure

        Several articles in the Star and the Business Journal have chosen to identify the root cause of campus problems as an entrenched, selfish faculty and the institution of tenure.  One piece, a vitriolic "As I See It" on December 1 by a consultant and sometime adjunct professor who ought to know better, revived hoary stereotypes.  In that column, Steve M. Cohen characterized faculty as having a "sense of rigid entitlement ... they fight any attempt at reform or change.  They resent accountability.  They have a 'cushy' job and they want to keep it that way."  Other writers marvelled that the "workers were allowed to fire the CEO," and implied that tenure simply protected the lazy and the comfortable.

        Several faculty members have written to the Star in protest against statements like Cohen's.  (See also "In Defense of Tenure" by John B. Harms below).  The following column by Steve Driever, Geosciences, and Jim Durig, Chemistry, appeared in the Star on February 1, 2005.  It was written at the request of the Faculty Senate in response to the repeated misrepresentation of tenure in local mass media.

Tenure protects Education

by Steve Driever and Jim Durig

        During the recent controversy over whether Martha Gilliland should retain her position as chancellor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, questions arose about academic tenure.  One business journalist wrote that "change is hard.  Change when you have tenure is apparently impossible."  A civic leader reportedly said that she had difficulty understanding how employees could unseat a chancellor.  She added: "It's a struggle because it seems so antiquated in today's world."  Their statements likely resonate with some readers.

        We will explain why academic tenure is important, beginning with a little history.  As the American author George Santayana wrote: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

        The move to establish tenure began in 1900 when Leland Stanford's widow, then sole trustee of Stanford University, insisted that Edward A. Ross, a professor of sociology, be fired for his outspoken opposition to the importation of cheap labor to work on railroads.  Another professor who protested Ross' discharge was terminated and more professors resigned in protest.  A national debate arose over academic freedom, leading to the creation of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

        In 1915 [the year the organization was founded--Ed.], the AAUP issued a statement on academic freedom and tenure that has served as the basis of virtually all college and university tenure regulations in this country.  The 1915 statement makes clear that "the relationship between University trustees and members of the University faculties is not in any sense that of an employer and an employee."  Rather, professors are primarily responsible to their professions and to the public.

        And so the cloistered university that was the norm until the 20th century--a place where lecturers, instructors, tutors, and maybe a few professors served at the pleasure of employers and passed on existing knowledge and moral values to students--gradually evolved into the modern university.

        Today, tenure is earned through a strict process of evaluation over a period of seven years and can be set aside for professional, moral, or criminal causes as well as financial exigency.  Tenure is not a sinecure for the lazy and self-satisfied.  Rather, it protects professors' freedom of inquiry and research, freedom to teach their subjects, and freedom to speak and write as citizens without institutional censorship.  This academic freedom also protects students, as acknowledged in 1957 by the Supreme Court in Sweezy v. New Hampshire: "Teachers and students must always remain free to inquire, to study and to evaluate, to gain new maturity and understanding; otherwise our civilization will stagnate and die."  This freedom is why American higher education is the envy of rest of the world.

        In short, tenure protects not only the faculty who have earned it, but the academic institution, the student, and the public.  Tenure ensures the integrity and vitality of learning and research, without which the university would rapidly regress to its previous state, and our society would be immeasurably diminished.

In Defense of Tenure

by John B. Harms

        On December 15 the following letter was sent by Professor John B. Harms of SMSU to Kevin Collison at the Kansas City Star.  Harms is President of the Missouri Conference of the American Association of University Professors.  It was written in response to one of a number of recent pieces in the local press that condemn the actions of the UMKC faculty and demonstrate a lack of understanding of the principles by which an educational institution functions.


        I read your story, "Sometimes tenure is an obstacle to change," with disappointment.  Tenure, like the special protection reporters like you derive from the 1st Amendment, exists to protect the free dissemination of ideas or what we call "academic freedom."  It is also a central pillar of shared governance, one of the main organizational principles of universities like Northwestern and Georgetown.  You see, unlike regular businesses, university administrators must answer not only to their boards, but also to their faculty and students.  In Gilliland's case, she had lost the confidence of her faculty, whom you rightly identify as "well-educated."  She also lost the confidence of her President, Elson Floyd, who should be commended for accepting her resignation, despite pressure from the local business community.  I suggest you do some real reporting and find out why the faculty opposed Chancellor Gilliland's "changes."  That would provide the kind of information the public expects and needs from a newspaper.  Given the wide misunderstanding of tenure in the business community, perhaps you could also do some research and find out  how U.S. universities--the best in the world--really work.  Now that would be "reporting."

Faculty Responds to AAUP Call for Ideas, Priorities

by Patricia Brodsky

        In mid-December, as the campus moved into exhilarating but largely uncharted waters, the AAUP chapter sent out a call to chapter members and other interested faculty to send us a list of short- and long-term priorities: issues that they felt must be dealt with immediately, and those that will require discussion and action as we move forward.  We also asked specifically for ideas of what UMKC needs in a chancellor, and in a provost, and how people envisioned a search process that would provide the fullest possible faculty participation and decision making power.  We have created for ourselves a rare window of opportunity.  We have the chance to take charge of our campus and make significant changes.  This window won't stay open forever.  We must remain (or become) involved in the creation of a new campus culture.

        What follows collects the suggestions I have received so far, divided by general topic.  Many thanks to those of you who responded.  A number of ideas and concerns appeared more than once.  The suggestions have been forwarded to President Floyd.  I urge those of you who haven't voiced your wishes, concerns, and ideas, to write to me ( ), to your senators, your Dean, and President Floyd.  Now is your chance to make faculty governance happen.

Criteria for selection of Interim Chancellor and Provost

        (Note: Suggestions included specific names, which I have not listed here but forwarded to the President.)
  • Someone at UMKC who understands the way UMKC works.  Preferably this should NOT be a current dean or the current provost.
  • The current Provost should not remain in his position.

Criteria for selection of a Chancellor

        (Note: A number of people mentioned the same or similar criteria for the Provost search.)
  • A track record of material and ideological support for faculty governance and academic freedom.
  • Will look scrupulously at Deans' leadership styles and respect/listen to faculty concerns.
  • Doesn't ignore the past accomplishments of the university.
  • We need an administration that will think about serving rather than imposing a vision; one that will reject the imperial model.  The priority should be for the "leadership" of the university to rest largely, although not exclusively, with people who actually teach and do research, as opposed to where it is [now], vested in staffers, many of them newcomers, who have never taught, never done research, but are paid over $100K and have titles like "Assistant Vice Chancellor."  As Hamlet says, my gorge rises to it.
  • Appoint a chancellor from the faculty.
  • We need a chancellor taken from our own institution, because this person will know the strengths and weaknesses of our institution (rather than presume to know what to do to us before even meeting us);... the person should serve a limited time in the role of chancellor and then return to teaching and research (so as to not lose touch with that critical process).  That person [should] ... respect established forms of faculty governance and have the kind of "social capital" with the faculty, staff and students to revive and focus our enthusiasm for our own institution.
  • New permanent leadership that is sensitive to the needs of junior faculty ...  It has been a real struggle to remain motivated and energetic in an environment that provides little to no rewards for exemplary performance.  It is my hope that the leadership provided by President Floyd during this interim period, and the replacement for Dr. Gilliland will take these points into consideration and choose to invest in the faculty--one of this University's most important resources.

Search committee and process for Chancellor (Provost)

        (Note: As this issue of The Faculty Advocate goes to press, formation of the search committee is already under way.  This newsletter will follow the process closely and report on the committee's progress.
In conversations with faculty as well as in the emails I received there was universal emphasis on a faculty-led, faculty-majority search committee. This committee should):
  • Be composed primarily of faculty and if at all possible  include someone connected with each school.
  • Not include administrators from the Gilliland "team".
  • Not use search firms.  By the very fact that they utilize a specific "stable" of names, they limit the search committee's choices.  Instead depend on ads in the Chronicle, the faculty grapevine, professional organizations, etc.
  • Faculty may use a search firm, but must guarantee that independent candidates are informed of the opening, encouraged to apply, and taken seriously.
  • Faculty need more opportunity to interact with and observe finalists (in the past, faculty got at most 1-2 very structured hours with candidates, competing with staff, students, other administrators, UKC trustees, and the "community" for time).
  • Any community members, including UKC trustees, should be advisory members only.


1. Eliminate "transformational" culture on campus

        (Note: This is already underway, to the extent that committees and advisory boards created by Chancellor Gilliland have been dissolved.  However, many aspects of that administration's mindset, attitude, and agenda, as well as its agents, remain.)
  • Cancel new P&T regulations, created by a Blueprint committee.  UM Collected Rules are general enough that if individual units want to begin to include "non-traditional" ideas for promotion and tenure they can without the need for a formal document.
  • Reconsider new on-line faculty activity reporting scheme (FAS) in light of the issues of access, security, purpose, and intellectual property rights.
  • Dismantle the transformational ideology down through the ranks and unit levels ...  [W]e have unit committees that are not standing, have no bylaws, and are controlled by administrators ...  They are definite encroachments on faculty governance ...  [Blueprint committees] and rhetoric are all still in play and quite active.

2. Faculty governance

  • Reclaim (or establish) faculty governance.
  • (As one faculty member remarked), I'm not sure we've had it in thirty years.
  • (With specific reference to junior faculty): under the leadership of Chancellor Gilliland, I feel the junior faculty have been neglected.  I believe this feeling of neglect stems from an atmosphere where senior faculty as a whole (with some exceptions) have been afraid to lead, and afraid to provide a strong voice challenging administration.  Many of the junior faculty within the College of Arts and Sciences have been left to quite literally "find their own way" on a variety of issues spanning virtually all areas of this University's environment.  The heavy-handed and at times downright intimidating communication from the upper levels of the University's administration sent a clear message that as a whole, the faculty were to "butt out" of issues relating to University governance.  There may be professional arenas where this style of administration is useful, and perhaps even necessary.  A University that provides education, produces knowledge, and explores society's potential in all areas, is not one of these arenas.  I am not blaming the senior faculty ...  I place total blame upon the "transformation" processes, and administrative style of Chancellor Gilliland and her lieutenants.
  • Develop a Faculty Handbook at the campus level.
  • Roll back the minimum enrollment figures for courses; total enrollments within a unit should be the important goal, not individual courses.  Let stronger courses support more advanced or difficult ones that draw fewer students.
3. "Budgeting for Excellence"
  • We need to keep the issue on the table.

4. Faculty Relations

  • Heal the damage, counteract the lack of trust on campus.
  • Strong need for a venue where faculty from all over campus can meet, discuss, interact and get to know one another: urgently need a Faculty Club.
5. Public relations

  • Make an effort to talk with Curators, legislators, the public, about what a university is and who we are and what we do. Dispel stereotypes, get the public on our side.
  • Create a team of faculty to visit and speak with at least the following: 1. City Council members; 2. UKC trustees; 3. the Star; 4. the Curators.
6. Faculty compensation

  • One-time payments (faculty found this concept offensive. One remarked): If I am doing such an outstanding job to warrant a "bonus" it should be made a permanent part of my salary.  In addition, I am not sure whether it is legal to use research incentive funds, generated by federal grants, to augment someone's pay.
  • Inadequate salaries, and the brain-drain: (one faculty member expected) a mass exodus of faculty, particularly junior faculty ... [and] a "brain drain."  (In fact, such an exodus has already begun, particularly in SBS but also in the College, and is continuing.)  It will undoubtedly lead to a further erosion of leadership here at UMKC, and without question hurt the quality of our classroom teaching, our scholarly research, and our service on all fronts.  The soon-to-be-former Chancellor through her actions has consistently communicated a "let them eat cake" attitude toward the faculty by allowing for nearly unprecedented administrative expansion, and very large administrative raises across the board.  Meanwhile, faculty as a whole (and junior faculty in particular) have not once, for the last five years, received a pay increase that matched inflation rates, let alone increases that are commensurate with demonstrated merit.
  • Salary compression: senior faculty, particularly those close to retirement, have been particularly hurt by the policy of no or very low raises, since retirement is based on the five highest years' salary.  Action is needed very quickly to help those whose retirement pay has been diminished over the last 4 1/2 years.
7. Resources

  • Hire a strong dean to lead the Library, one who will work with faculty and library staff to protect and defend it as a professional facility. Provide sufficient funding, and make sure that the focus remains on books, scholarly journals, and intellectual resources.  The library should not be reduced to an "information center" or a student lounge.
  • Launch an investigation of the Bookstore. Too many semesters of late course books, wrong books, too few books, no books.  Recapture the Roo-Pak from wherever it's been outsourced to.  The store is understaffed, the turnover is high, and the prevailing policy is "screw the curriculum."  Transform the first floor into a store that sells books (send the candy, sweatshirts and stuffed kangaroos upstairs).  The bookstore exists to serve the course needs of students, not to "pay for itself" through price-gouging.  Bookstore policy should be made by faculty and a faculty committee should oversee its budget and operations.
8. Cooperation across campus and interdisciplinary programs

  • The healthy future of UMKC depends on a strong college with vibrant interdisciplinary connections through teaching and research with all units across campus.  [We must] demand major investments in the college so as to continue its active participation in cross-campus, interdisciplinary research and teaching including academic service learning, diversity infusion, educational engagement with the community (through, for example, the urban literacies project and a faculty led Institute for Urban Education), SEARCH, women's and gender studies, the recruitment and retention of African-American and Hispanic faculty and students.
  • While we have the chance, make a renewed commitment to the "Cluster Courses" (interdisciplinary courses) which arose from an NEH grant years ago.  A cluster course is currently a graduation requirement for the BA.  At one time the programincluded a faculty director, a regular newsletter, incentives for developing new clusters, and a large number of courses for students to choose from.  Under a series of deans and interim deans, this once nationally-known program has been underfunded and downgraded; it could be once again be one of the "stellar" programs that make UMKC unique.

Issues: Response from Sociology/Criminal Justice & Criminology

        In addition to the AAUP request for suggestions, the Deans urged their divisions and departments to discuss the future of UMKC and send in their proposals for what the President needs to concentrate on.  The following is the result, somewhat condensed, of the thoughtful discussion in the Department of Sociology/Criminal Justice & Criminology.  Our thanks to Department Chair Linda Breytspraak for allowing us to publish them.  Other departments are invited to send us the results of their discussion, so we can share them with the rest of the faculty.

        1. While not opposed to the life sciences as one of our mission areas, we need to reexamine the dominant place that it has had, and whether the dream of the role of life sciences in Kansas City's future is realistic.  More attention should be given to the social and ethical issues relating to life science research and a portion of any funding should be dedicated in this direction (as was the case with the Human Genome Project in NIH).

        2. President Floyd should not attempt to suppress faculty commentary about the last 4.5 years.  The parallel might be drawn with being involved in a family where there have been abusive relationships--i.e., members have to "own" the way they feel as a step toward healing and moving forward.

        3. Over the past few years administrators received large raises while claiming that there was little money for faculty raises.  We must reward faculty appropriately for what they do.  Assistant professors who came 4-5 years ago are well behind the level at which they came in when cost-of-living increases are taken into account.  Rewarding these people, as well as those at higher ranks, must be one of President Floyd's highest priorities, unless he wants to see the quality of our programs seriously deteriorate with an increasing number of faculty departures.

        4. President Floyd needs to reassess the roles of some of the staff and non-faculty professional level positions in the Administrative Center whose influence has been disproportionately large in matters that should reside with the faculty.

        5. As UMKC goes about building stronger relationships with the Kansas City community, faculty need to play a more significant role.  Despite the fact that there are many relationships already in place between faculty and community organizations/agencies/governmental units, the perceptions of faculty by some community leaders are less than positive.  We suggest that faculty and UMKC's leadership can better work together for mutual understanding and stronger community relationships.

        6. We encourage President Floyd to have open faculty meetings with the campus community over the next few months rather than depending exclusively on groups like the Faculty Senate or key individuals to communicate all the issues that are important to us.

Where Do we Go from Here?

by Dan Hopkins

        Among the responses to the AAUP's call for ideas we are publishing, one from Dan Hopkins, Department of Geosciences, which was comprehensive in its coverage.  While not everyone will agree with all his suggestions, they offer a substantial jumping off place for discussion.

        Faculty Governance--Well-phrased and widely disseminated statements from the top of the university administration should very strongly emphasize the centrality of the faculty to the university and to its governance at all administrative levels.  Dr. Gilliland's statement at her meeting with the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences that the faculty's role in policy-making is strictly advisory was, obviously, specious.  The faculty is the university.

        "Blueprint" and other university committees of dubious make-up and legal standing that dilute the role of the faculty should be disbanded, including the so-called extended cabinet.

        Make-up of the Faculty Senate should become proportional to the numbers of full-time, tenure-track faculty in the various schools and colleges.  Librarians and other support personnel should under no circumstances be classified as faculty, nor should the head of the libraries have the status of a dean.

        Salary Equity--The administration apparently completely subverted the College's efforts last spring to make its salary structure more equitable.  The recommendations and justifications submitted by the departments in this connection are presumably still on file, and so I imagine it would not be administratively difficult to get this matter moving again, and quickly.  If it were up to me, I would be looking at retroactive adjustments: the upshot of the exercise last semester was a very hard blow to many of us.  Salary compression, not to mention salary inversion, simply must be eliminated.  Let's not hear a lot of talk about the "market": let us instead have fair compensation for all.

        Budgets--The president should strive to establish true budget transparency, accountability, with the proper and substantive involvement of duly constituted faculty committees.
The Budgeting for Excellence guidelines need to be thrown out.  Research must be restored to its proper standing on this campus.  Service must be relegated to its place: we serve the community by educating its children and by expanding the knowledge of the human race.  In this connection, it would doubtless be advisable, if only on general principles, to drastically reduce administrative budgets in favor of department E&E budgets.        

        Consultants--The services of outside academic, management, and public relations consultants should be dispensed with forthwith.

        Promotion and Tenure--The recent changes in promotion and tenure procedures and philosophy should be suspended until the entire faculty has had a chance to study every document involved very carefully.  This is very clearly a faculty prerogative that Dr. Gilliland, as she sought to restructure the university, tried to usurp.  It must always be borne in mind that decisions about the direction of research are the responsibility of the faculty.  An ambitious course of action for Dr. Floyd would be to re-examine President Pacheco's post-tenure review, which was rammed through and is of highly doubtful legality.

        Misdirected Public Relations --The current UMKC public relations campaign needs to be carefully studied and if necessary reined in.  It looks like the wrong messages are being sent to the campus and to the community.  The disparity between the administration's public relations "visions" and the actual goals and values of the university should be eliminated.  Martha Gilliland's "core values" can be dispensed with.

        Departmental Audits--The departmental audit fiasco should be revisited.  It appears that the UMKC administration was simply unable to control its own records of enrollments and majors.  This matter should be investigated.

        Enrollment Management--Minimum class sizes, especially in courses for majors, must be left to the departments' discretion.  Students' ability to graduate in a timely manner is already being severely compromised.

        Lawful Operations--UMKC's operations must in every respect be brought into line with the Collected Rules and Regulations and other applicable law.

        Town and gown--Obviously relations with the city are important.  However, the integrity of the university's programs of research and instruction must never be sacrificed to the ideal of participation in public-private cooperative ventures of dubious viability and uncertain scholarly worth and purity.  Without the support of the faculty, any such relationships are without merit.

The Structural Basis of Missouri's Higher Education Crisis

by John B. Harms

        Missouri's public institutions of higher education are experiencing a major financial crisis that threatens their viability.  The source of this financial crisis is an imbalance between revenues and spending/appropriations caused by a combination of broader economic trends, Federal tax policy, and Missouri's unique Constitution and fiscal policies.

        Although the Consensus Revenue Estimate provided by Missouri's Office of Administration and Senate Appropriations Staff projects a 2.3% growth ($147.8 million) in general revenues for FY2005 (Kruckemeyer and Blouin 2004, pp.2-3), Missouri's institutions of higher education continue to suffer financially.  For example, state appropriations for higher education in FY 2003 and FY2004 were cut by $140 million, but the FY2005 budget has restored only $23 million (Keiser 2004, p.2).  The Missouri Budget Project reports that there has been an average tuition increase of $1,700 for Missouri's four year institutions affecting 80,000 Missouri students (Kruckemeyer and Blouin 2004, p.3).                                                                                                          

        There can be no doubt that Missouri, like other states, has been adversely affected by broader economic trends and events.  The recession in 2001, the collapse of the dot com industry, the shock of 9/11, numerous corporate scandals, the war in Iraq, the erosion of the manufacturing sector, and massive job losses have all combined to put downward pressure on state revenues.  But it must be recognized that these events aggravated the crisis, they did not cause it.  To understand the crisis, we must look to structural factors.

        One such factor involves changes in Federal tax policies.  President Bush signed three federal tax cuts in his first term, reducing personal income taxes, corporate taxes and estate taxes.  Because Missouri pegs its own personal income tax, corporate tax and estate tax to the Federal tax, changes in Federal taxes are imported into the state.  The Missouri Budget Project reports that in FY 2005, changes in the Federal estate tax alone will reduce Missouri's tax revenues by $117 million (2004, p. 5).  The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that all told, Federal tax changes between 2002-2005 have cost Missouri $320 million, making Missouri the third most adversely affected state in the nation (2004, p. 1).  Obviously, structural changes like these contribute significantly to the imbalance between revenues and spending.

        Factors unique to Missouri also contribute to the crisis confronting higher education.  These include crucial amendments to the Missouri constitution.  The "Hancock Amendment," established in 1980, limits total state revenues by linking them to personal income.  The limit is set by multiplying total state personal income by 5.64% (Moody 2003, p. 4).  If state revenues surpass that limit, they must be refunded to personal and corporate income taxpayers.  Hancock was first "triggered" in 1995, and from 1995-1999 over $980 million dollars were refunded.  In response to these increased state revenues, in the second half of the 1990s legislators enacted 21 new tax credits and 14 new tax cuts.  In the first year of their implementation, FY2000, the tax credits cost the state $170 million while the tax cuts cost another $648.1 million.  In short, changes to Missouri's tax code resulted in a loss of $818.1 million dollars in FY2000, and have eroded its tax base by 11% annually (Missouri Budget Project 2004, p. 5).

        In 1996 Missouri voters passed the "Carnahan/Farm Bureau Amendment" which puts a ceiling on new tax revenues tied to an annually adjusted percentage change in personal income.  In FY 2003 this limit was approximately $74.5 million (Moody 2003, p. 5).  Any combination of tax or fee increases that exceeds this amount must be approved by voters, even if it falls below the Hancock limitation.

        The combination of these two amendments puts Missouri's public sector in a precarious position.  Missouri, like most states, must balance its budget each year and cannot run deficits.  In good economic times like the '90s when surplus revenues were generated, "Hancock" required refunds and prompted tax cuts and credits.  These tax cuts and credits became permanent features of Missouri's tax code.  In bad economic times, like the 2001 recession, revenues fall and create an imbalance between spending commitments (many of which were increased in the good times of the 90s) and falling revenues.  But, because of the "Carnahan/Farm Bureau Amendment", taxes and fees cannot be raised to meet the shortfall without a vote of the people.  Given the financial difficulties visited on many families during economic downturns, the likelihood of adjusting the imbalance through revenue-increasing measures is very small.  The result is that the state must cut spending to balance the budget, and that is the situation we find ourselves in right now.  Missouri's tax system is structured so that as the business cycle moves up and down, the public sector gradually shrinks due to decreasing revenues.

        While the revenue side of the imbalance has been structured to reduce the revenue base for Missouri's public sector, the spending side is structured so that higher education appropriations are limited and/or reduced.  Public higher education in Missouri is funded from the general revenue fund.  K-12 education, corrections, and Medicaid also draw off this fund, and spending on these programs affects the amount of revenue available for higher education.

        In 1993 Missouri passed SB 380 which created a foundation formula for funding K-12 education.  Between FY1993 and FY2003 spending per pupil increased 12.9% per year, or 129% over the ten year period.  In terms of the imbalance, between FY2000 and FY2003 state aid for K-12 was $800 million while revenues declined by 113.1 million (Moody 2003, p. 7).

        Starting in the economically prosperous times of September 1998, Missouri expanded Medicaid eligibility to cover adults and children not qualified under AFDC or TANF.  This increased the number of eligible recipients from 580,363 in September of 1998 to 913,761 in October of 2002;  an increase of 57.5% (Moody 2003, p. 24).  It should be noted that, once eligibility criteria are changed, Missouri must provide the funds for the services, and this puts increased pressure on the general fund.  In FY2003, Medicaid drew $703.1 million from the general revenue fund (Moody 2003, p. 25).

        Like Medicaid, Missouri's Department of Corrections has also experienced dramatic increases in expenses.  Much of this is attributable to the current "get tough on crime" sentencing policies that have swelled the number of people incarcerated and on probation and parole. For example, between FY 1993 and FY2002 the probation and parole caseload increased from 41,664 to 63,640, an increase of 52.7 % (Moody 2003, p. 33).  James Moody, a former state budget director, estimated that in 2002 Missouri was incarcerating 4 to 5 new inmates a day, which would require the state to build a new 1,596 bed prison each year at a cost of $110 million per prison to accommodate these new prisoners (Moody 2003, p. 34).  Clearly, Missouri's sentencing policies impact the general revenue fund.  And, like Medicaid, once an individual is made "eligible" for corrections, the state is obligated to fund the services.

        The structural problem underlying the crisis in higher education is now evident.  On the revenue side, the "Hancock" and "Carnahan/Farm Bureau" amendments over time tend to shrink the revenue base that funds Missouri's public higher education.  On the spending side, there are formulae (K-12 foundation formula, Medicaid eligibility rules, and sentencing laws) that have increased the spending for K-12 education, Medicaid, and corrections.  In 1981 Missouri replaced its FTE-based funding formula for higher education with a base-budget formula.  In practice this means there is no formula guiding spending for public higher education in Missouri.  It is a math problem of determining what's left after other programs have drawn from the fund.  The result: Missouri's state support for public higher education has declined as a percentage of the overall state budget from 8.3% in FY1980 to 6.8% in FY2000 to 5.8% in FY2003 (Keiser 2003, p.37).  Higher education, which receives only 15% from general revenue and lottery appropriations, took 65% of the reductions between FY2002 and FY2004 (Keiser, p. i).

        Consider the following additional facts about Missouri's public institutions of higher education:
  • Between 1991 and 2003, Full Time Equivalent (FTE) student enrollment in Missouri's public colleges and universities declined by more than 3%, while the national trend was an increase of 18.7%. MO is one of only 3 states to have a FTE decline in this period (2003 SHEF Report, p.26).
  • Missouri ranks second in the nation in tuition hikes in the last two years (MNEA White Paper, July 2004).
  • Missouri has the lowest per capita funding support for higher education among the surrounding states: MO=$321, KS=$496, AR=$449, OK=$477, IA=$507, IL=$411 (2003 SHEF Report, p. 41).
  • Nationally, median student loan debt was $16,500 in 2003.  At Southwest Missouri State University the average student graduated in 2003 with $17,000 of student loan debt, an increase of 74% since 1997 (USA Today 6/30/03; SMSU Office of Student Financial Aid).
        Missouri's public institutions of higher education are in peril and will remain so until our legislators address the structural imbalance in the state budget.  Although current revenue estimates are better than the last few years, the Missouri National Educational Association reports that there is still a structural deficit of $650 million in the FY2005 budget (Fajen 2004, p. 7).  It is time that students, faculty, and the public in general understand this crisis and make their legislators address this problem.  The Missouri Conference of the AAUP is working hard to promote this understanding so that Missouri's institutions of public higher education have a solid and equitable financial base.


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 2004.  "Passing Down the Deficit: Federal Policies Contribute to the Severity of the State Fiscal Crisis."

Fajen, Otto. 2004.  "Missouri's Budget Crisis: The Impact of the Structural Budget Deficit on Public Education." Missouri National Education Association Whitepaper.

Keiser, John. 2003.  Appropriations Request For Operations.  Springfield, MO: SMSU.

Keiser, John. 2004.  "2005-6 Budget Request focuses on Three Key Areas."  SMSU Focus: 12:1.

Kruckemeyer, Tom and Amy Blouin. 2004.  "Missouri's Revenue Situation: Is the Fiscal Crisis Really Over?"  Missouri Budget Project.

Missouri Budget Project. 2004.  "Missouri's Fiscal Crisis Remains Severe: Revenue Option are Available as Compared to continued Spending Cuts."

Moody, James R. 2003.  Missouri's Budget Problem.  Jefferson City, MO: Moody & Associates

State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO).  2004.  State Higher Education Finance FY2003 (SHEF Report).

This article was prepared during the Fall of 2004.

Double-Digit Tuition Increases in Public Higher Ed Again This Year

        According to a survey by the College Board, tuition at public universities jumped by 10.5 percent this year.  Tuition "now costs 46 percent more than when this year's freshman class entered high school," reported the Wall Street Journal.

        Not surprisingly, students are working more jobs for longer hours and taking out more loans at higher rates, just to keep in school.  Four out of five students in higher education hold jobs while they study, averaging 25 hours a week.  And to the delight of the banking industry, the fastest-growing student loans are those with the highest interest rates.

        But growing tuition and loan costs aren't the only things pushing working-class sons and daughters out of higher education.  Increasingly, institutions are walking away from policies that once used financial need as the criterion for aid.  Now it's based on "merit," a code word for more subsidies for the wealthy.  "The biggest increase in institutional aid has been to the upper-income families," confesses an analyst for the College Board.

This article is excerpted by permission from the Labor Party Press, January/February 2005, p. 3.  Labor Party Press is the official news publication of the Labor Party, a political party formed by progressive unions ( ).  The Labor Party's campaign for Free Higher Education has been endorsed by the Collective Bargaining Congress of AAUP.  Its website is

Upcoming AAUP Events

        Here are three AAUP events that faculty should consider attending.  The first is the annual meeting of the Missouri State Conference, which will be held at Lincoln University in Jefferson City on March 5 (first day of Spring Break).  The agenda isn't out yet, but a central issue will be the Missouri education budget.  For further information contact John Harms, President of the Missouri State Conference, .

        The second is the ninety-first Annual Meeting of the AAUP, June 9-12 in Washington, D.C.  This year's topic is "Academic Freedom and National Security."  For more information see the January-February issue of Academe, p. 8, or go to the organization's website--

        The third event is the national AAUP Summer Institute, which will be held this year at the University of New Hampshire from July 21-24.  The Institute provides workshops on a number of issues of great interest to AAUP chapters, including governance issues, academic freedom, recruiting, and faculty handbooks.  It is also a great place to exchange experiences and ideas.  Watch the AAUP web page ( for information.

The entire contents of each issue of The Faculty Advocate (except for public domain material) is copyrighted.  The Faculty Advocate , February 2005, Copyright 2005 by the UMKC Chapter of the American Association of University Professors.  All rights returned to authors upon publication.  AAUP chapters, state conferences, and the national organization have permission to reproduce and distribute.  Permission for other non-profit publishers is a formality, but UMKC AAUP asks them for the courtesy of requesting it.  Contact the Editor, Patricia Brodsky: 816-235-2826, e-mail:

AAUP Dues Information

Open to all faculty
Full-time tenured and tenure-track
Full-time non-tenure track
Graduate teaching assistants

Membership requires payment of both local and national dues

Local UMKC chapter dues

$10 per academic year.
Send payment to Treasurer, Alfred Esser, BSB 417, 816-235-5316, or
Please make checks payable to "UMKC-AAUP Chapter."
Also please send Alfred your preferred mailing address(es), phone(s), and e-mail address(es).

National dues

Varies by job classification and state--click this link for up-to-date information

Discounts on national dues for following categories

50% off
a) Entrant: Nontenured full-time faculty, new to the AAUP, for first four years of membership
b) Joint: Full-time faculty member whose spouse or partner is a full-time member
c) Retired
75% off
Part Time: Faculty paid on a per course or percentage basis


Graduate: Person enrolled as graduate student at an accredited institution; five-year limit
Please note that national dues also cover Missouri State Conference dues (but not local UMKC dues)

Back Issues

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 1 (September 2000)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 2 (December 2000)

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